Michael Discenza/ Unsplash

The world’s wealthiest city, New York has 359,500 millionaires, 60 billionaires

The Big Apple leads the 10 wealthiest cities in the world in 2024.

New York is the richest city in the world, with a staggering 359,500 millionaires and 60 billionaires, according to a report from Henley & Partners. California’s Bay Area is not too far behind at second place. 

The Big Apple’s millionaire population has surged 48 percent over the past decade, “despite fears of wealth flight and the Covid-19 pandemic” reducing the city’s ultra-rich population. 

the world's wealthiest cities - California Bay
California’s Bay Area is comfortably in second place.
Photo by Joshua Sortino. All photos from Unsplash

The study, done in collaboration with New World Wealth, reported that New York’s millionaire population now has more than $3 trillion in wealth—a total that exceeds the GDPs of Brazil, Italy, or Canada.

Asia’s richest: Tokyo, Singapore, HK, Beijing

Asian cities have figured strongly in the top 10, occupying four slots: Tokyo at third, followed closely by Singapore at fourth, with Hong Kong and Beijing easing into the ninth and tenth spots, respectively. 

Singapore in particular has been showing remarkable growth in terms of the number of millionaire residents. In 2023 alone, 3,400 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) moved to the city-state.

the world's wealthiest cities - Singapore
Singapore, at fourth spot, is now home to 30 billionaires. Photo by Zhu Hongzhi

The Southeast Asian republic, which is widely regarded as the most business-friendly city in the world, is now home to 244,800 resident millionaires or individuals with liquid investable wealth of US$1 million (S$1.35 million) or more, 336 centi-millionaires with investable wealth of US$100 million or more, and 30 billionaires with investable wealth of US$1 billion or more.

This follows an impressive 64 percent increase in millionaires from 2013 to 2023. Singapore is poised to unseat Tokyo as Asia’s wealthiest city very soon.

the world's wealthiest cities - Tokyo
Tokyo is in third place with 298,300 millionaires, 267 centi-millionaires, and 14 billionaires.
Photo by Jezael Melgoza

The Japanese capital, which led the pack as the world’s wealthiest city a decade ago, had a 5 percent drop in its resident HNWI population over the same decade and now occupies the third place with 298,300 millionaires, 267 centi-millionaires, and 14 billionaires.

Hong Kong, meanwhile, tumbled down four places to ninth globally, with 143,400 millionaires, 320 centi-millionaires and 35 billionaires.

Beijing, on the other hand, made its debut in the top 10 with its 125,600 millionaires, 347 centi-millionaires, and 42 billionaires—an impressive 90 percent growth in its millionaire population over the past decade.

the world's wealthiest cities - Beijing
Beijing makes its first appearance in the top 10 with its 125,600 millionaires, 347 centi-millionaires, and 42 billionaires. Photo by Li Yang

Other Chinese cities like Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou have also recorded sharp increases in their millionaire residents.

Shenzhen is the world’s fastest-growing city for the rich, with its millionaire population surging by 140 percent in the last 10 years, according to Andrew Amois, head of research at global data intelligence firm New World Wealth, as quoted in an article on The Straits Times. 

New York strengthens foothold; London falls

New York City cemented its hold on the top spot with 349,500 millionaires, 744 centi-millionaires and 60 billionaires calling the Big Apple home.

Following close behind is Northern California’s Bay Area, including the city of San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The Bay Area saw its millionaire population grow by a whopping 82 percent over the same period, and is now home to 305,700 millionaires, 675 centi-millionaires, and 68 billionaires. 

the world's wealthiest cities - New York
60 billionaires call New York City home. Photo by Thomas Habr

The Bay Area, however, leads NYC in the billionaire department, with 68 billionaires, according to the report.

The US has also increased its lead as the largest “creator of millionaires and billionaires” in the world. The US is home to 11 of the top 50 richest cities, as stated in the report.

The US continues to dominate the world’s wealthiest cities due to its dominance in the global financial, tech, and entertainment sectors.

Meanwhile, London, once the wealthiest city in the world for many years, has continued to fall down the rankings and is now in fifth place with 227,000 millionaires, 370 centi-millionaires, and 35 billionaires. The figures constitute a decline of 10 percent over the past decade. Brexit, Russian sanctions, and other policies have slowed wealth migration, as per the report.

the world's wealthiest cities - London
London, once the wealthiest city in the world for many years, has continued to fall down the rankings and is now in fifth place. Photo by Giammarco Boscaro

Completing the top 10 are Los Angeles, Paris and the surrounding Île-de-France in France, and Sydney, Australia, occupying the sixth, seventh, and eight spots, respectively.  

Dr. Juerg Steffen, CEO of Henley & Partners, said a key factor driving growth in the world’s wealthiest cities has been the “strong performance of financial markets in recent years,” as stated in the same The Straits Times report.

“The S&P 500’s 24 percent gain last year, along with the Nasdaq’s 43 percent surge and Bitcoin’s staggering 155 percent rally, has buoyed the fortunes of wealthy investors. Additionally, rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain technology have provided new opportunities for wealth creation and accumulation,” he said. 

the world's wealthiest cities - Sydney
Sydney takes the eight spot. Photo by Jamie Davies

When it comes to the most expensive cities in the world, New York City settled for second place after Monaco. The average sqm price of a prime 200 sqm to 400 sqm apartment was US$35,500 in Monaco and US$28,400 in New York.

London took the third spot with prime real estate averaging US$26,500 per sqm, followed by Hong Kong in fourth place at US$25,800 per sqm.

You can browse the full report here.

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